US punk

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The CBGB in New York - the nucleus of punk rock

US punk is the designation of origin for several styles and further developments of punk that have emerged in the USA since the 1970s .


The development of US punk began in New York City in the first half of the 1970s . The nucleus of this initially nameless music scene were several music clubs in Manhattan , which also gave inexperienced bands without a record deal the opportunity to perform. The best known of these clubs include Max's Kansas City and CBGB .

Young rock bands appeared there, the music of which was characterized by greater simplicity, unpolishedness and roughness than the music of popular bands of the time. Well-known representatives of the early days of US punk were Television , The Heartbreakers , Richard Hell and The Voidoids , the Dead Boys , the Ramones , the Patti Smith Group and initially the band Blondie . These groups were mostly inspired by the hard rock music of bands like MC5 , The Stooges and the New York Dolls, but also partly by garage rock of the 1960s.

The name punk was given to the young underground music scene by the New York music fanzine PUNK , which was founded by graphic designer John Holmstrom and the authors Legs McNeil and Ged Dunn specifically to give this scene a journalistic forum. The editions of the fanzine contained interviews, concert reports, self-drawn comics and photo stories about the bands and musicians of the scene.

With the emergence of hardcore from the early 1980s, US punk began to split into numerous stylistically and ideologically very different movements. Besides the Ramones, important bands are the Dead Kennedys and the Cro-Mags . An important style that emerged in the early 1980s was the typical West Coast punk from California , which quickly became very popular with fast and energetic songs. The most important bands of this direction and time include the Adolescents , Black Flag , TSOL , Fear , the Circle Jerks , Agent Orange , DI and the Dead Kennedys. After Bad Religion introduced a particularly melodic and fast punk rock direction with their album Suffer in 1988 , also known as skate punk or melodycore , there was a new wave of this direction and a kind of "revival" of US punk with bands like NOFX , Pennywise , Lagwagon , Good Riddance or No Use for a Name .

Bands (selection)


  • Legs McNeil, Gillian McCain: Please Kill Me - the uncensored story of punk . 1st edition. Hannibal, Höfen 2004, ISBN 3-85445-237-3 (English: Please kill me - the uncensored oral history of punk . Translated by Esther Breger, Udo Breger, standard work on the history of US punk from 1967–1992).
  • Stephanie Chernikowsy: Dream Baby Dream - Images from the Blank Generation . 2.13.61 Publications, Los Angeles 1996, ISBN 1-880985-27-6 (photographic documentation of the early years of punk in New York City).
  • Victor Bockris : Beat Punks - New York's underground culture from the beat generation to the punk explosion . Da Capo Press, New York 2000, ISBN 0-306-80939-7 .
  • Brazis, Tamar (eds.): CBGB & OMFUG: thirty years from the home of underground rock . Harry N. Abrams, New York 2005, ISBN 0-8109-5786-8 (American English, documentary photo book on the US punk and hardcore scene with foreword by Hilly Kristal and afterword by David Byrne ).

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